While waste-to-energy (WTE) is a small percent of our overall energy portfolio, it holds potential to play a larger role. There is a big difference in how WTE is supported in Europe versus the US. Europe has approximately 450 WTE facilities, while the US has only 86. (Center for American Progress, April 2013).

For some reason we here in the US have found WTE facilities to be rather controversial.

Here is a list of the three issues opponents of WTE have with the technology.
WTE facilities discourage reuse and recycling
WTE facilities generate air pollution/human health problems
WTE facilities are not economical

Choose one of these topics. Find at least two sources on the topic (yes we need the titles and url'). Summarize the concern - and data the opponents use to support their concern. Then describe the WTE advocates point of view and list their supporting data. Finally, now that you are the expert, which side makes the stronger argument.

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Waste-to-energy facilities (WTE) are a promising solution to a growing solid waste problem in the U.S. in addition to being a means to lower green house gas emissions. Within the last 10 years, WTE technology has improved to a point where it is a viable and relatively safe option for waste management and energy production. However, some of the strongest opposition actually comes from environmental groups and liberal politicians. One issue opponents to WTE facilities bring up is concern over human and environmental health due to trash burning emissions.

One claim made by opponents to WTE facilities is that they emit pollutants hazardous to human health. Oftentimes, these claim are actually based on data from 2000 or prior, before the Environmental Protection Agency put into affect the Maximum Achievable Control Technology Standards (MACT).


Biogas technology has great potential to turn waste products into useful energy. The technology is actually being used and adopted in other countries more than it is here in the United States.

Do a web search to find an example of anaerobic digestion technology being used in a country other than the United States. You will likely find several links. Choose one or more of the links, to find the following information and report to us. Please format this reflection using BULLET POINTs.

- Country you are writing about
- Website URL or name of website
- Type of digesters being installed
- Digester application (farm, business, home)
- Primary feedstocks used (manure, waste food, etc.)
- Country's policy or economic driver for installation
- Other interesting information or issues related to digestion in that country...

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